Wednesday, October 27, 2010

26/10/10 - Terrestrial Update

YEY-we’ve finally seen turtles!!!!! After two weeks of walking and walking on Monday at the very end of the turtle walk on Grande Anse we were rewarded with our very first turtle viewing. AMAZING!!! She was busy covering up her nest and we had to get very low so she wouldn’t be disturbed, I sat nice and close behind her so that she was able to kick ample amounts of sand in my face. We waited until she was ready to go back in the sea and then had to quickly get hold of her so we could measure her shell, check for scars and tags and take photos of her head to see the patterns so that all the information can then be given to the marine park authority to continue their turtle monitoring data. I was also responsible for covering up her eyes and talking to her so that she was calmer and didn’t struggle whilst we got our data, also so that it was as quick as possible so as not to disturb her.

Then yesterday we went out on our morning turtle walk and hadn’t yet seen any turtles but had seen a lot of tracks so we were hoping it was only a matter of time before another one emerged before another one emerged. As we sat at the end of the beach Nicola noticed a turtle at the shore-she kept popping her head out and swimming up and down looking for a good place to come up, finally she chose a spot and dragged herself up the beach, tiring work as the tide was low. Once she made it to the shade of the trees she started to dig her nest and lay her eggs, once she was laying she went into a trance so was unaware of us, it was then that we were able to measure her and collect all the data we needed so we didn’t disturb her –she then started to flail all her flippers to cover up her nest and set off back into the sea. Wicked couple of days turtle wise, we’re so happy they’re finally coming out to play which makes the effort all worthwhile.

All in all our terrestrial programme is going well, we’re really happy to be getting to do such hands on work with the turtles and are really getting up together with our Coco de Mer monitoring, we’re looking forward to being sick of the sight of turtles!